Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is returning to the football landscape to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he’s taking with him some valuable lessons that he learned from Bucs’ quarterback Tom Brady. In an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King that I highly recommend reading right here, Meyer recalled a vintage Brady story from one of the times the head coach visited the Patriots during the offseason.
“Well, Tom Brady,” Meyer said. “I got to witness Tom Brady first-hand and it was the last day of a mini camp in June. I had been to a few of those and usually people had one foot out the door. They just got done with a very long, seven/eight weeks in the offseason. You’re talking about the greatest quarterback of all time. Mike Vrabel was there. Tedy Bruschi was there. I was blown away.
“The last day of mini-camp, they’re in shorts, helmets, and they’re doing a two-minute drill. And Tom Brady is treating it like it’s the Super Bowl. He goes down and he scores with two seconds left to win that scrimmage. Ran around the field like a child—that’s how competitive he is. I went back immediately to my quarterbacks and shared with them that I just watched the greatest of all time, and the way you’re supposed to practice, the way you’re supposed to provide energy to the rest of your team and the way you lead your team. I was blown away at Tom Brady and the way he performed at practice.”
Meyer is in position to draft a great quarterback prospect of his own in Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, and the Jaguars new coach knows firsthand the Tigers signal-caller will need to be as mentally capable as he is physically capable in order to thrive in the NFL. Watching Brady operate on and off the field in New England helped reinforce to Meyer how critical it is for a quarterback to possess elite football IQ.
“…I went into the offensive meetings with Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady, and Tom Brady’s actually the one who had the clicker in his hand,” Meyer told King. “It was amazing. He was in there running the film. He had the offensive line sitting there, running backs, receivers, and Tom Brady was running the clicker and watching practice film, dissecting the plays with the offense. Think about that for a minute. You can say he throws a great pass. But people that really understand the game—there’s much more than that that makes him the best of all time.”
Brady’s outstanding football intelligence, fanatical work ethic and undying competitive edge are already stuff of legend, playing a huge role in transforming the Bucs into Super Bowl champions during the 2020-2021 season. But it’s still fascinating to hear the respect Brady garners from even some of the best coaches in the world, who consistently walk away amazed by all that the former-MVP brings to the table at the quarterback position.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft